Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: extraction (Page 1 of 3)

Adventure Trails

It’s hard to get back to scrapbooking after nearly three weeks of the non stop activity involved in moving. So I was glad to see a new template album set, Travel Template Album No. 3, this week. I simply chose photos from one of the collections that I had created in Lightroom to create another page for my book. That proved to be just enough of a project to rekindle my creativity this weekend.

On the left, I placed the layers of template 6 and the layers from template 7 on the right. I deleted the stains in the middle, the postage and some of the word art and script. Note: I made a few adjustments to the fotoblendz masks to accommodate my photos after I clipped them to the masks.

Next, I clipped my photos to the fotoblendz and framed masks. I added adjustment layers to improve the look of my photos. I considered color when I placed the photos, i.e. Owen’s red shirt, to help move the eye across the page.

To fill in the gutter of my page, I first, repositioned a copy of the large photo on the left and used an inverted mask to bring back in just my youngest grandson rolling on the grass by stamping with white on the black mask. He was actually on the left side of that photo, but didn’t show in the fotoblendz mask. Next, I duplicated the original photo clipped to the mask but did not change it’s position as I had with the part of my youngest grandson. Instead, I linked it to the original, attached an inverted layer mask and stamped brush 8 from ArtsyPaint No. 9 directly on the mask to extend the scene. Finally, I extracted my grandson’s leg by placing a copy of the photo above the frame and revealing just his leg with a round brush on an inverted mask. I gave the extraction a custom shadow and erased as needed.

I placed my title in basically the same position as the word art included with the template set. I also added file 5 from MultiMedia Suns No. 1. I placed the layers to emphasize the direction of the light in the photos on the left and on the right. It’s not perfect, but gives the feel of the sun’s direction in most of the photos. I also placed two word art labels from ArtPlay Palette Traveler for a little more interest.

This page came together so easily; it was a perfect project when you are pressed for time but still want to make progress on a book or to create something. To be honest, I was disappointed with these photos when I imported them from my camera to Lightroom. Yet, I think the template helped me crop and arrange them to tell the story of our visit to a new exhibit at the zoo on a very hot summer morning in July. So I’ve decided that the photos were better than I thought!

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Playing to My Strengths

I think this is the last water play page for my book. While there are common elements to all the pages that I am incorporating into my book this year, I am adding something unique to each page. On this page, there are actually four extractions: the large family photo, part of my granddaughter Kate in the foreground, my grandson Owen in the middle and Logan’s fun goggles in the title. As I work on this book project, I am playing to my scrapbooking strengths, blending and extractions. I try new things, but I also use skills I know well.

For this page, I went back to Anna’s Project Template Album No. 2. I began by clipping photos to the fotoblendz masks included in templates 22 and 23 before I rearranged the small photo masks by moving one and duplicating another. On the large fotoblendz on the left, I duplicated the photo, extracted the heads, gave them a custom shadow to create more depth in the photo and blended both layers back into the base photo.

Next, I placed an overlay and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette H2O. I struggled with a hue and saturation adjustment before finally deciding to simply clip a photo of the water to the overlay on the right. I followed the same process on the left but I reduced the opacity to 80% and kept the photo at 100%. That was enough to fix the color tone on the both sides. In the middle, I placed another photo and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 9 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on an inverted mask to reveal enough on the mask to tie the two large photos together across the page gutter.

I then clipped additional photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to correct exposure and contrast.

I placed two photos across the page gutter, extracted parts and blended them together. I gave the photo of my grandson a custom shadow and added a partial shadow to the photo of my granddaughter. Below the frames, I placed some of the same paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 that I used on the previous water play page.

I had already adjusted the position of  threads included with the template to create a little dimension. I added brush 7 from Scribble Sun No. 1 and placed an extract of the rims of some goggles.

I may create one more page about our family trip, but not until after I return from a trip to California next week. I have at least twelve other collections of photos for which I would like to create additional pages for this book. Each time I work with Anna’s templates, my process is faster and easier. I am playing to my strengths by combining blending with a few extractions on my pages when I work on my artsy pages. That helps speed my process too!

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Mixing Masks and Templates

Photos often tell the stories on my pages, but journaling fills in details to help my family remember our time together. On this trip, the wave pool was a favorite place to play for everyone. Even Kate, wearing a life vest, walked out into the water to jump the waves. If the boys weren’t jumping the waves, they were wrestling with one another in the water. Yes, I put my camera down to get in the water to play with them.

I created a special collection in Lightroom to make it easier to find and organize my favorite photos from our recent trip to Wisconsin Dells before I started creating pages with them for my book this year.  This book isn’t just about this trip; I anticipate that I will create only seven or eight pages with photos from this collection. I created this page by mixing masks with frame arrangements from three different templates. I think mixing and matching this way actually makes it easier to ensure that the pages uniquely work with my photos whether portrait or landscape orientation.

After creating a new 24×12 inch document, I first imported a family photo that I wanted to highlight by masking. I clipped it to mask 4 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. I chose it based on the shape created by my family photo. Once I had that blended, I went back to Lightroom to choose some small photos to tell the story.

I chose the small frame arrangement from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 based on those photos. I clipped the photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to adjust exposure and contrast. Note: I make adjustments in Lightroom before importing but often find that I need to adjust more when the photos are all together on a page.

I placed the frames and then extracted my son with the Quick Selection Tool from a second copy of the large masked family photo and placed that layer above the smaller frames. In other words, that family photo is clipped to a mask below the small frames and the extraction is above the frames.

After clipping the small photos to the frames, I imported another photo and blended it into mask 1 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No 5 that I placed on the right side of my page. This mask allowed me to hide the young woman assisting everyone out of the boat. Then I added hue and saturation adjustment layers to ensure that the color tone was the same over the entire page.

I again selected a frame template arrangement based on my photos. In this case, I combined photo frames from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 3 and Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1.

To fill in the background, I blended in another photo with a different perspective of the tubing slide by stamping with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes on an inverted layer mask. I added two textures from Paper Textures No. 4 below two frame edges. I also placed an overlay and transfer from ArtPlay Palette H2O just above the paper and adjusted their color with hue and saturation adjustment layers.

To finish off my page, I added a title, some bubbles from Magic Bubble Overlays No. 1, a blue fish to help balance and create a visual triangle color, threads and a few splatters.

I finished my page journaling on the other side with another story that day about Kate sadly watched her brother and daddy ride down a tube slide. She wanted a turn. So I put my camera inside a helper’s jacket so it wouldn’t get wet and went down with her, Corbin and Daddy. She seemed to like it. However, by the look on her face after a second ride, I don’t think she really liked it all that much.

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Play With Me Grandma!

I just finished sorting about 3000 photos from our trip last week down to more than eight hundred with which I might create pages for my annual book. Yesterday, while I was sorting, my daughter shared with me some of her memories as a child. Without even opening an old album, I remembered what she was describing. I also knew that despite not having many photos from when she was a child, the photos I had captured helped her remember things we did together as a family.

After my daughter called, I thought about my granddaughter Kate and how much I want her to remember our time playing together. In my last post, I wrote that I don’t often hand my camera off to anyone else. That’s the reason I’m not often in the family photos. I just don’t like having my picture taken. As I’ve gotten older the dislike has only gotten worse. However, on this trip, I handed my camera to my son twice and asked him to take a few pictures of me and Kate playing together. Since photos of me are rare, I decided to begin creating pages about our trip with these photos of the two of us.

If I can get beyond the dilemma of too many photos, creating pages with templates is the easy part of my process. I began this 24×12 inch page with mask 5 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7 placed over solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso. To each layer of the psd mask, I clipped linked copies of my photo.

I did not know exactly which template I would use. Sometimes, I switch out the masks included in templates just for the variety. Sometimes, I just like the look of a mask and then search for small frames from a template that fit the shape of the mask.

Since I wanted to combine photos from both days on one two page spread, I looked for a template that would accommodate a vertical photo of me and Kate standing in the water. I loved Kate’s wave to her daddy in this photo. I clipped it to the mask included with template 3 from WaterColor Template Album No. 4 as well as some of the template stains.

However, rather than use the supplied small frames, I chose two from template 11 from the same album. I had already used template 3 once, but by switching out the small frames with those from template 11, I changed the look and better accommodated two more vertical photos. I added brush 7,overlay 2 and a little boat (recolored with a color overlay from the style menu) from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso.

Note: I extracted Kate’s foot for an out of bounds look on the left side.

For color balance on my page, I decided to mix the photos across both sides rather than separate them by date. I chose just the frames, text boxes and urban thread from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 2. However, I tilted the small frames a little so that they looked more like the style on the left. I clipped my photos to the small frames and adjusted the exposure and color of the water with adjustment layers. Because the included frames were a little larger, I deleted those and added a stroke style in white to the masks to simulate frames.

To add interest on the page gutter and to tie the two pages together, I placed another mask from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7, png file 4.

My page style is consistent with the other pages I’ve already finished for my book this year: a light background, journaling, clear page edges, something across the page gutter, an informal font title, urban threadz, minimal elements, masks and blending. However, this page is extra special in that I am now pictured in my book; I’m not just the author and photographer. The next time Kate says, “Grandma, play with me,” I will remember this page of memories playing together: holding hands while floating on our backs, jumping in the waves, riding a boat and climbing ladders to slip down slides.

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Dance, Dance, Dance

It doesn’t matter whether music is playing or not, Kate dances through her day. We went to the zoo and she danced below me on the wooden slats of the pavillion for watching the elephants. We walked to McDonald’s and she danced along the sidewalk. We went to the museum and she danced with a princess. It makes me smile seeing her shoes on backwards and knowing nothing deters her dancing.

To create a double page spread with these photos I captured last week at the zoo, I dragged the layers of another page,  Oh the Places She’ll Go, to a new 24×12 inch document.

I then placed the layers of file 7 from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 2. I replaced the fotoblendz template file with file 5 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 8. To that I clipped artsy paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Meadow. I also reduced the size of the paper and clipped that to a stain from the template.

After turning back on the frames, I clipped additional copies of artsy paper 4 to two frames. To the top frame, I clipped most of the layers of transfer 2 from Artsy Transfers Meadow.

I actually extracted each of the photos of my granddaughter dancing and added a custom drop shadow to each before placing them on my page. I gave each extraction the same photo treatment that I gave to the photo on the right. Finishing the extractions first helped me decide which template to use. These photos were all taken from above where she was dancing. Basically I used the frames and masks to ground the extractions and provide color for my page.

On the right side, I added two frames from Simple FotoBlendz Album No. 1. To each frame mask, I clipped layers from file 5 of Artsy Transfers Meadow arranging them to provide a background for the extraction. I also stamped a brush from ArtsyStains No. 6. To that I clipped additional layers from Artsy Transfers Meadow to extend the scene.

To finish my page, I added another copy of a flower from MultiMedia Flowers No. 4, rotated it and reduced it’s size. Above, I place png file 2 from MultiMedia Suns No. 1. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle to tie the two pages together.

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Oh the Places She’ll Go

Yesterday, I went to the zoo with my grandchildren. Sometimes they will stop and pose for me, generally they don’t. While there I captured a series of shots of Kate dramatically posing and twirling as she danced on the wooden planks in a pavilion for viewing the new elephants. I didn’t have a specific idea for a page as I played with my camera; I simply wanted to capture her fun movements as I quickly angled my camera in different directions following the lines in the wooden planks. I don’t think this was the best shot, but the perspective worked well for the page I created. It’s always a good idea to capture at least one shot from behind someone. You never know when it might be needed in a scene.

Generally, I begin my scrapbook pages with a photo. In this case I began this page by placing transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Meadow on a new 12×12 inch document. There is a meadow near our home that looks very much like this transfer and I simply wanted to play with it to create a scene.

I decided to place that photo from the back of Kate in my scene. I extracted her with the Quick Selection tool and applied a layer mask. I rotated the photo to get a better angle and reduced the photo size just a little so that her head appeared to be just above the horizon line on the transfer in order to create perspective. The transfer has a watercolor look so I duplicated the photo and applied a filter using Topaz Simplify. I added a drop shadow style, created a layer from the style, warped it and masked out a part that was too dark. I then added another drop shadow. In other words, there are two shadows giving my granddaughter dimension on this page.

To ground my granddaughter, I placed transfer 3 from APP Meadow below her and above transfer 6. I added an inverted mask and brought back in just enough to fill in the ground.

I added two copies of png file 2, each sized differently and rotated, from MultiMedia Flowers No. 4 for color and to create an unmatched visual triangle with Kate’s pink shoes. I could have recolored the blooms a pink, but I thought that was too soft for the vibrant blues and greens in the scene. I placed word art 5 from Summer WordArt Mix No. 1 and thread 12 from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

Finally, I added a title and another copy of the multimedia flower higher on the left side to create a diagonal visual line of flowers across my page.

I’m not usually so quick with my creative process, but once I saw that transfer, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Quick Flower Book Update

I thought I would share a quick update on another page for an ongoing series with the photos of flowers that I’ve been capturing with my macro lens. I hope to have enough pages by the end of the year to compile them in a book.

After placing my full page photo, I reduced the size of the template layers from FotoInspired DoubleTemplate No. 79 about 15% and placed those on the right.

Next, I clipped my photos to the frames, adding an extraction above three frames and a few threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

The background behind the frames is several layers of artsy paint, ArtsyPaint No. 7, along with a brush experiment with another pansy photo.

As I pointed out in a previous post, Easy Book Project, this is proving to be a great opportunity to focus on improving my photography.

More On a Painterly Look

While I haven’t finished viewing all the videos from class, Creating Painterly Images, I thought I would share what I did with these white orchids using Topaz Lab’s plug-in Simplify as well another technique the instructor demonstrated in class. I have another six videos to view, all of which demonstrate how to add a painterly look within Photoshop or with a plug-in like Simplify from Topaz Labs. I haven’t viewed the class video on Topaz Labs yet, so what I share today is based on my current understanding of how the plug-in works.

Aside from the original extracted copy and custom drop shadow at the bottom of the orchid group, I created a sketch within Topaz Labs’ Simplify with one copy and a digital painting with another copy. On both of those copies I applied the inverted masks before taking them into Simplify. To the painterly copy, I clipped a lightened copy of solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Tres Bon. There are two more orchid copies: one for which I used the find edges filter and another copy of the painted version on color burn at 30%.

Note: I have been experimenting with Topaz Labs’ Simplify plug-in for more than two years. This link, Create a Digital Painting, is my favorite tutorial for using Topaz’s Simplify. It’s from 2014, but I still think this tutorial explains best how the Simplify plug-in works so that I can make my own adjustments on the presets provided in the software. Once you’ve done this a few times, you will not need to have the instructions on your computer screen while you work in the plug-in. This plug-in works in both Photoshop and PSE.

To soften the look of the orchids, I next created a composite of just the orchid group. I duplicated it three times. Then I rotated each copy maybe 4 or 5° both clockwise and counter clockwise and changed the blend mode of each to color burn at 25%.

Below the orchids, I placed two copies of transfer 5, copies of transfers 3 and 6 as well as the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Tres Bon. I stamped brush 2 and brush 6 from Tres Bon No. 1 with a dark brown on new layers and changed the blend mode to linear burn. I changed the blend mode of transfer 3 to color burn and transfer 6 to linear burn.

For dimension, I placed file 6 from UrbanStitched Leaves No. 3 along with threads from UrbanThreadz No. 9 and UrbanThreadz No. 11. I should try to use the .abr files for stamping the threads, but I have an old habit involving searching and then dragging over the file that I need to break. I recolored the button and added a thread from ButtonThreadz No. 2. I stamped my title on a new blank layer just under the orchids in the same dark brown I used for the brushes.

I will let you know soon what I learn in the last six class videos.

ArtPlay Homework

While I just finished an advanced class on brushes with Anna Aspnes, I am concurrently enrolled in A Year of ArtPlay 2017. One of the assignments for the ArtPlay class was to create a page blending multiple images. This page actually reflects my learning in both classes. I am delighted that these classes build on one another.

These are four of the photos, captured in March at Lauritzen Gardens, that I blended together to create my composite.

First I began by placing artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Hygge above solid paper 1. Starting with an artsy paper made page design easier. In the layers panel, note that I used a layer mask to blend out part of the dark brown stain so that it wasn’t so dominant. I also stamped with gray on a new layer over that part and added a gray overlay on color at 100%.

Next, I placed transfer 1 above the corresponding part on the artsy paper and clipped my first photo to the transfer. I adjusted my image with levels adjustment layers, one on screen and the other overlay. Then I clipped the closeup of the plants and blended it into the shelf. It is on normal at 50% Above those layers, I placed another copy of transfer 1 on soft light at 100%. For blending, I am using a brush set that I compiled from some of my favorite AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes.

Next, I added the head of the statue, attached an inverted layer mask and brought back in just what I wanted with brushes before giving the image a drop shadow as well as a gray overlay with the styles menu.

On the right, I placed the vertical photo of the stone wall, attached an inverted mask and again used brushes to reveal parts of the photo. One of the brushes I used was brush 12 from ArtPlay Palette Hygge. I also added brush 2 to my abr file of favorite blending brushes. I adjusted the light with a screen adjustment layer and glow 5 from WarmGlows 2.

Note: For blending, I created a new .abr file with brushes from Anna’s AnnaBlendz Artsy brush sets. For my file, I selected the brushes from Anna’s blending series that were simpler in that they look like primarily one texture. I am also finding that when I load the brushes from a palette I am more likely to use them and discover new favorites to add to my favorite brush abr file.

I decided that my scene needed someone to enjoy it. I found this photo of Kate that I’d taken in January 2016 sitting in about the same spot. In a way Kate’s curls reminded me of those on the statue.

I roughly extracted her using the Quick Selection Tool on an inverted layer mask and added a shadow. I added two levels adjustment layers: the first on screen and the second on overlay. I also placed another copy of the closeup photo of the plants, blending out the edges on a layer mask as needed.

Finally, I placed the layers of file 5 from MultiMedia Hygge No. 1 on the right below Kate in the layers panel. I added a phrase in the heart with the type tool. On the left, I created a cluster with a button from ArtPlay MiniPalette Cherish, a leaf that I copied from the multimedia file and thread 3 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. I am hoping that with the gray button and the gray moss in my photo that I’ve picked up enough gray. I also placed four glows to correct the color and simulate the light above my granddaughter.

Do I like it? Yes. I especially like how much what I have learned about working with brushes shows in this layout. It’s hard to see the texture in these screen shots. While this won’t go in this year’s book, I am going to put it in an album after printing.

Focus on the Photos

In support of my goal this year to focus more on my photography, I attended a class at Lauritzen Gardens on Saturday. The instructor, Will Fields, sent out a reading assignment via email before class. His goal was to help us see how aperture influences depth of field. He spent time with us individually. For me, the technical assignment was to photograph a single subject at three different apertures from three different angles on continuous focus as fast as I could. Here is one of my captures at aperture f/2.8. I love blurred backgrounds that isolate the subject. However, it is not easy to capture moving grandchildren at that aperture because the depth of field limits how much is in focus. There isn’t much room for focus error. I’d love to be able to consistently capture photographs that are in focus using a wide aperture. I am going to continue to practice this little assignment until the next class. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Another goal I have for the new year is to focus on the photographs that I capture as I create scrapbook pages. I’m not giving up artsy designs; I just want the photographs to pop on my pages; I want them to dominate my pages.

I began this page with the psd file 1 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 5. I clipped a copy of the above photo to the fotoblendz layers. I then clipped two other photos to png files 3 and 5 before clipping another copy of the first photo to transfer 7 of ArtPlay Palette Anaphora. I reduced the opacity to 40%.

From those layers, I created a composite using the keyboard shortcut keys: command+option+shift+e. By the time I had brought back in what I wanted revealed from my composite using the fotoblendz masks on layer masks and a png file, I had duplicated the composite five times.

Next, I duplicated the photos and extracted four of the orchids using the Quick Selection Tool and layer masks. I gave each extraction a custom shadow.

I then placed transfer 3 and the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Anaphora. I also placed some of the layers from psd Artsy Transfers Anaphora 3 and 5. Note: those will be available on Wednesday in Anna’s store.

Next, I clipped another copy of the composite to a png copy of Artsy FlutterBy Templates No. 2. I changed the blend mode to linear burn, duplicated the two layers and reduced the opacity of the top copy to 75%. I added two threadz from ButtonThreadz No. 2 as well as one of the Urban LoopedThreadz No. 1.

With a title from Repeat WordART Mix No. 1 and a bit of journaling, I finished my page. What do I like about my finished page: the soft edges and subtle texture, the white space and especially the beauty of these orchids. While my page design and layering of the fotoblendz transfers changed the photograph, the orchids are still just as clear and beautiful as they were in the original photograph. Each of us has different expectations for the art we create from the photographs we capture. I still believe that as my photography improves, so will my artsy scrapbooking. I still believe that photography is my creative priority. I am focusing on the photos this year.

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